Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virgina Tech

You can't turn on any news source without being flooded with scenes from the VT shooting. And therefore I can't turn on any news source without getting teary. It hits a little (a lot) too close to home. Because, as I see the pictures of the buildings on Tech's campus, I think, "Wow that looks a lot like on Penn's campus." And I see students, many of whom just a few years younger than me, wearing their school hoodies, in prayer circles, crying, and just generally distressed.

But what I would like to say about this was said so eloquently (as is so often the case for him) to me today by my friend Anthony, that I will just quote him...

"It really hit me today when I honestly could not motivate myself to become upset or outraged by what had happened. And then as I was sitting at my desk reading article after article about the killer, the families, his loneliness, etc. it hit me. We've all sort of gotten grimly used to this ritual that plays out on CNN every few months: Initial news is sketchy, reports of shots fired at a campus or in a schoolyard. Then, the first confused images of students running terrified from classrooms in every direction. SWAT teams running towards dormitories or schoolhouses and then finally some administrator or university president mumbles the first incomprehensible details or body counts, carnage and his/her feelings of "shock, outrages, and despair." Audible gasps can be heard from the members of the press pool as the death toll rises . . . 18, 21, 22, 30, 33. Finally, after CNN has set up their 24 hour news camp and every on-air personality, from Nancy Grace to Anderson Cooper, start to discuss school violence, do we realize how sickening it all really is. Eventually someone finds some photograph of the gunman, pulled from a high-school yearbook or summer vacation. Usually we see in his brooding, impish face a small window into the mind of a killer who was already well on his way to the ultimate destination of murderous and suicidal mayhem. Then the interviews begin and everyone from the neighboors to the teachers to the mailman always thought of him as a nice kid who would never harm a fly. They just can't imagine that someone like Seung-hui, Dylan and Eric, Thomas, Luke, or Charles Andrew could be capable of committing such a heinous act. Kind of makes me sick because it's as if these kids followed some deranged script they found on the internet and changed the name and the number of students and teachers they thought were necessary to kill: Jonesboro, Wisconsin, Columbine, Seattle, Lancaster County, Alabama, and now Virginia Tech."

Yes, I think that about says it all. It is truly saddening and a truly terrible event, and one that yet again makes us aware of how broken and fallen our world is. And for now, what we can do is pray for the families and friends of the victims.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. ~Romans 8:18

So we fix our eyes not one what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. ~2 Corinthians 4:18

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